Currently, most of the data that government agencies and higher education institutions use to report progress on college access and success omit large numbers of students. Transfer students and part-time students, for example, aren’t included in the success rates reported in the major national database on postsecondary education, nor does the database flag low-income students in a way that enables the public to track their progress (see Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, commonly known as IPEDS). This US Education department survey only covers first-time fulltime freshman. The missing and invisible students constitute two-thirds of the students in many broad access colleges. Students who are not counted will be ignored in college accountability sytems.
However, 22statewide 4 year college systems are compiling their own data to overcome IPEDS shortcomings, and provide a more accurate overview of college completion. Se www.nashonline.org